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dave6253 10-19-2012 06:34 PM

There's a lot of Color Between Phoenix & Aspen

Not really very far...

Rider: Dave
Bike: 2002 Aprilia RST1000 Futura
Distance: 1817 Miles of Asphalt
Time: Four Days
Dates: October 4-7, 2012
Locations: AZ, UT, CO
Colors: Billions

dave6253 10-19-2012 06:53 PM

It was still dark out, when I start up the engine.
The bike has been reliable so far. I'm hoping she continues to be...

...and this tire lasts another couple thousand miles.
I'll have to keep an eye on it.

I was ripping up I-17 at first light.

At sunrise I stopped to switch to a tinted visor.

I'm in no particular hurry. Today is planned to be the shortest day, and I already know where I'll be sleeping.

I've got plenty of time, so I take the scenic detour through the Sunset Crater & Wupatki National Monuments.

poolman 10-19-2012 06:56 PM

Nice start, certainly looking forward to the rest!

The forest is transforming now in the DC area as well, and autumn is such a great season to ride.

EDIT: And also, if your bike was in this picture it could very well be front page material.


Cannonshot 10-19-2012 06:59 PM

Great images Dave! :thumb

dave6253 10-19-2012 07:14 PM

Thanks poolman and Cannonshot!

It would've been difficult to get the bike up on that mesa. I didn't even try.

dave6253 10-19-2012 07:19 PM

Wupatki National Monument

dave6253 10-19-2012 07:32 PM

Horseshoe Bend

I've ridden the long 2 lane highways that cross the Navajo Nation many times before, but...

I still enjoy the spectacular scenery.

I take another detour up towards Page, AZ.

I've never seen the Horseshoe Bend before.

There were tons of tourists in the small parking lot off the highway. RVs, Buses, Grown men wearing capri pants...:huh

I take the hike out there lugging the entire tank bag the whole way.

I think the round balls in the layers of sandstone are indictative of volcano activity.


and Turkey Vultures zip around below.

The mid-day hazy light was not optimal for photos...

But I try anyway. I need to return here for a sunset someday.

dave6253 10-19-2012 07:41 PM

To Monument Valley
I take a 2 lane I've never set wheels on before. I pass the power plant near Page and
I see the narrow crack in the ground known as Antelope Canyon. I didn't even slow down though.

Agathla Peak, near Kayenta, AZ

Heading to...

Monument Valley

dave6253 10-19-2012 08:31 PM

Monument Valley
I pay my $5 entry fee into the Tribal Park and stop the bike near the view of the Mittens.

I decide to hang out here a couple hours to watch the sunset.
I shoot a quick panorama, then go into the lodge to get some snacks.

A map of the Navajo and Hopi Lands. I thought the increase in size from the 1868 borders was interesting.

I stroll through the store looking at pricey trinkets...

I selected a cold soda and ice cream bar. There were no prices listed, so I was prepared to be robbed at the cashier.
No problem. I got in line behind 2 ladies at the cash register. The clerk was ignoring us. One of the ladies had to
repeatedly speak up before the clerk finally came over, reluctantly. She seemed rude as she took their money.
As they turned to leave I stepped forward and placed my items on the counter. The "clerk" turned her back and walked away. WTF? I left the ice cream on the counter to melt.

At least the view was priceless...

dave6253 10-19-2012 08:53 PM

Monument Valley Sunset

I watch

the colorful


and fading light

at Monument Valley.

A Magestic Experience

I jump back on the bike and ride the short distance up to The Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park.
The stars were just making their appearance as I stopped the bike in a familiar free camping spot.

DurtKlod 10-19-2012 09:26 PM

I have to admit that I started reading this thread without paying attention as to who the author/rider was. It didn't take very long for me to figure out it was you simply by the quality and types of your photographs. Initially you were talking about going to Page and I did not see that detour on the first map. Glad to see you corrected it on the second one... not that it matters!:rofl You also mentioned that you left the ice cream bar on the counter to melt... but you made no mention as to what happened to the cold soda!!! Great trip so far. I look forward to the rest.

dave6253 10-20-2012 10:17 AM

Hi DirtKlod. I left the cold Orange Crush with the melting ice cream bar.:D I had a lukewarm soda and water on the bike.

dave6253 10-20-2012 10:19 AM

I was up before sunrise shooting pictures of the hole in the ground next to my bed.

dave6253 10-20-2012 10:21 AM


dave6253 10-20-2012 10:30 AM

Breakfast at Goosenecks
I love camping for free. I set up my bed next to the bike here on the floor of the ramada. I'm glad I didn't set up the tent.
It got extremely windy with big gusts. I thought the ramada I was under was going to be ripped down.
With the noise from the tin roof and the sand blowing in my face all night, I didn't sleep very well.

I made scrambled eggs and grits for breakfast.

Time to load the bike...

And hit the road.

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